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North & South Patagonia
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Founded in 1902, Bariloche is on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi and is surrounded by mountains and forests. Enjoy the highlights of the scenic San Carlos de Bariloche on a Circuito Chico tour with stops at local artisanal producers specializing in chocolate, beer, and jams. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the town or hike through the spectacular countryside.
Bariloche is the gateway Nahuel Huapi National Park, second largest National Park and the first established in Argentina (1903). The region boasts a broken mirror puzzle of lakes, forest, mountains and rivers running along sharp fluvial valleys and dominated by Cerro Tronador (“Thunder Hill”), an inactive volcano that rises 3554 metres above sea level, with 3 glacier covered summits and 8 glaciers falling on eithe sides of the mountain which make it a reference mountain in Patagonia.
The urban centre of the Argentine Lake District, Bariloche in many ways resembles alpine resorts of Europe. It boasts some of the best food in the country. Sample a beefy parrillada, or a variety of fresh salmon or lake trout, then work it off during a day hike around Cerro Catedral or while practicing your salsa at one of the town's salsotecas.
Today you'll travel by bus and ferry to Puerto Varas, in the stunning Chilean Lake District. Enjoy the sights from the ‘Cruce de los Lagos’ ferry, considered one of the most scenic cruises in the world. On day five, you have the option to take an excursion to Chiloe' Island or visit the volcano.
Puerto Varas is a city located in the the Southern Chilean province of Llanquique in the Los Lagos (Lake District) region of Chile. There are few areas in the world that can match the Chilean Lake District for scenic grandeur. South of the Rio Tolten and sprawled across the provinces of Valdivia, Osorno and Llanquihue, you'll find everything from snow-capped mountains to deep-blue and emerald lakes, smoking volcanoes, forests and glaciers.
The region's architecture is unique in that older structures are wooden and resemble European homes and churches of the 19th Century. Seafood dishes also abound in this region. Of particular interest to visitors is the curanto Chilote, a hearty seafood stew that'll leave you ready for a siesta!
Torres del Paine National Park
Take a full-day excursion in the Torres del Paine National Park with an expert guide and enjoy breathtaking views and scenery. Stop at Grey River and the park office, then continue through the Grey Bridge to the forest zone and Grey Lake whose ice mass is stunning against the surrounding landscape. From here we hike along the path to get a closer view of Grey Glacier with its huge ice blocks resting in the lake. Continue on to Paine River and admire the pure turquoise colours of Pehoé Lake before a short walk to Nordenskjold Lake for wonderful view of the Paine Horns. Also visit Sarmiento Lake, Amarga Lagoon, Paine Falls and the Azul Lagoon
The granite Towers of Paine make a sudden and dramatic appearance on the horizon in the midst of a flat, dry, wind-swept plain. Despite the almost constant summer winds, this is some of the finest trekking country in Chile. Endowed with severe mountains, sparkling lakes, waterfalls and glaciers, as well as herds of guanacos, majestic condors, flocks of pink flamingos and large Patagonian hares, the park's international attraction is immediately evident.
Drive towards the lofty peaks to the dynamic Moreno Glacier, within Glacier National Park. Here, you may spot condors, rheas, eagles or flamingos en route, but the real star of the day is the glacier itself, located at the southern terminus of Glacier National Park. Sliding down from atop the southern continental ice field, Moreno's 60m (197 ft) wall of ice sporadically chokes off the narrow Canal de los Tempanos (Channel of Ice Bergs) creating a natural ice dam, which eventually explodes in a dynamic display of force.
The Southern Patagonian ice field, the third largest on the planet (after Antarctica and Greenland) is the source of all the area's glaciers, including Moreno, Onelli, Viedma and Upsala. Moreno Glacier, this massive river of frozen water and huge chunks of ice moves down constantly crashing into the lake waters below.
Ushuaia, is the southernmost city in the world, on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia actually means “the bay facing westward” in the language of the original Yamaná inhabitants. Once a penal colony for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s), Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica. The town of 70 000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina
Depart Ushuaia and return to the UK
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